Relationships are hard. Dense. Difficult to understand well enough to apply to purpose. Like a finely made, ornate, intricately sharpened tool, too heavy to pick up.
The struggle is focused on shaping. Changing. Cutting away extraneous pieces. Hammering a blade thinner, asleep in coals until red hot, then whole steel chunks are removed.
These are aspects of ourselves. The sacrifices we make constantly in order to cohabitate. These concessions are not restricted to human interactions. They are necessary for sustainable communication with livestock like chickens, goats, pets like cats, dogs, down to their pests, fleas and ticks. Whether we like it or not, they must be considered.
The relationship could be the bloodsucking parasite attached to the host.
A story that reads lustful, consumptive love, and inevitable discovery.
In most situations, it entails me holding fire to the creature and watching it cringe and swell and pop. It is not easy to think this way all the time. But I have found it to be necessary. And rewarding.
Consider that it is still relationship when one party attacks, damages or ends the other one. Sometimes it can be easy to slip into the assumption humans hold the patent on choices, but symbiosis, parasitism, neighborliness, taking advantage, are inherited concepts. They belonged first and far most to the world.
I kill what sought to drain me. I do not feel good or bad about it. I just consider it.
Like the flock of birds I care for daily, weekly, at this point yearly, spilled pails into trays and automatic waterers, feeding bags and bags of feed my money buys, trade my time to fill these bird’s stomachs. Then we go there.
One unsuspecting morning, the towers who care for chickens come and isolate one or two in a box. Ending lives. Taking a look into their craws, opening up their stomachs.
I don’t imagine or assume where my time went. I know.
That is a relationship. A bastard child of predator and prey. We call it farming.
And it can be disturbing, like most things, hard to understand.
But it may provide a starting point for tilling the dense mindset of Man.
This tool we find grasped in our species hands. Yet are unable to use.
And the more individuality we have to sacrifice, compromise,
in order to interact fruitfully with others,
the duller the blade becomes.